Artificial Intelligence (AI) may look like something out of the pages of a sci-fi book, yet you’d be surprised how often you use it daily. As the technology continues to improve, AI will become even more common with more widespread utilization among diverse industries. To start with, let’s begin with the basic definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what it includes.
Seeking Alpha gives a very apt description of the same in their article-
“At a basic level, artificial intelligence is the concept of machines accomplishing tasks which have historically required human intelligence. AI can be broken down into two distinct fields:
Applied AI: Machines designed to complete very specifics tasks like navigating a vehicle, trading stocks, or playing chess – as IBM’s Deep Blue demonstrated in 1996 when it defeated chess grand master Gerry Kasparov.
General AI: Machines designed to complete any task which would normally require human intervention. The broad nature of General AI requires machines to “learn” as they encounter new tasks or situations. This need for a learned approach is what gave rise to modern Machine Learning”.
One of the biggest focus of AI in the emerging year, according to the Pricewaterhouse Cooper report is using different data sets to make predictions (this also includes e-commerce shopping websites) more accurate. As Machine learning, an AI subset develops further- wrong suggestions will become increasingly uncommon. Plus, with advanced search technologies and image recognition features, the e-commerce business will become more intuitive. And that is just the beginning.
AI is all set to impact diverse industry verticals in breakthrough ways in the emerging year.
AI in India
As per a recent research conducted by Capgemini across 993 companies in nine countries, more than half Indian companies (58%) are already using AI, taking its application beyond than just pilot projects. This is significantly higher compared to other countries like Italy, Australia, Germany and UK which were also part of the research.
Given India’s diverse culture and multi-lingual nature, many telecom companies are using AI to make non-English speakers experience with devices less difficult. While telecom and retail companies are reported to have the highest AI adoption rates, other industries like banking and finance are also not far behind. In fact, State Bank of India and HDFC, two of the largest banks in India have launched chatbots, an AI product to handle customer queries.
The healthcare sector stands to witness major transformation with AI in the coming year, especially in a country as underserved country as India. Currently, India stands 154 out of the 195 countries on the healthcare access index. Advancements made in cognitive computing can assist in estimating the incidence of a disease in a specific population using extensive data plus help in offering a cost-efficient diagnosis.
In fact, several AI based healthcare startups have popped in recent years which include Niramai which uses AI for early detection of breast cancer or Ten3T which offers remote health monitoring services through AI to detect anomalies and notify the doctor.
More on successful AI start-ups – a corporate leader like Google chose to acquire Bengaluru based Halli Labs, an AI startup only months since its founding. Google has also partnered with Aravind Eye Hospitals, one of the largest eye care group in the world, to use image recognition algorithms to detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy.
If the Artificial Intelligence has affected one industry more than the other, it is the banking and finance industry. It has become crucial to organizations working in the banking and finance sector to keep up with the competition and maintain their reputation as an innovative organization.
Five key applications of AI that are trending in the banking industry are chatbots, AML (Anti-money laundering) Pattern Detection, recommendation engines, fraud detection and algorithmic trading.
Sreerama KV Murthy, CEO of Quadratic Insights commented on the subject saying
“There is substantial attention being paid in bank boardrooms nowadays on deployment of AI and ML…… A few banks have already initiated the process of building centralized data lakes and institutionalizing advanced analytics capabilities, either internally or through captive vendors”.
India’s Unified payment interface (UPI) is leading towards a new age of open banking. Therefore, equipped with comprehensive customer data- banks are enabled to build better models and more intelligent services and applications. As AI can give banking institutions a head-start in converting data into a competitive advantage, more financial services are racing up to adapt AI.
AI in retail sectors has been applied in many revolutionary ways- all across the product and service cycle, i.e. from assembly right down to the post-sale customer service interactions.
Some of the technologies which are integrated with AI within the retail industry include Sales and CRM applications, manufacturing, customer recommendations, logistics and delivery, payments and payments service.
AI in Logistics
The worldwide, as well as Indian logistics industry, is on technology adoption spree. The robotics and Internet of things (IoT) to manage warehouse operations, automated storage and retrieval systems, real-time tracking of shipments, RFID, cloud, GPS and mobile technology are already heavily in use.
Pushing logistics tech boundaries is Amazon with their ‘Amazon Prime Air’ – which will make small parcels delivery via drone a reality after it figures out how to implement the technology within regulations.
AI in Manufacturing
Indian manufacturers are already using Augmented reality, Virtual reality, AI and robotics for better customer care as well as better process optimization. Some examples of AI in manufacturing world are chatbots, predictive analysis for supply chain innovation and preventive maintenance and well as Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) for operational efficiency. These technologies are expected to develop further in 2018 with cloud-based technology infusing in more areas.
AI is financial services goes beyond the BFSI sector. In fact, many payment providers and financial services are experimenting to find ways of using AI in many areas including customer interaction, fraud detection as well as marketing.
A creative utilization of AI in payment services has been implemented by a Fintech startup ‘Douugh’ which pairs up with a community bank ‘Choice Financial’ to jointly launch a checking account with debit card and a AI based virtual assistant called ‘Sophie’. It helps consumers make better spending/ saving decisions. ‘Sophie’ the AI tool analyzes the customer’s financial position and will be able to pay bills, make payments, track and manage saving and spending decisions.
AI is slowly evolving to be a major technology witnessing adoption surge with ample commercially viable real-world applications. Even though industries like healthcare, banks, retail, manufacturing, logistics and payment services are getting most of the AI-action, it is only a matter of time when other industries catch up. So, if you are interested in AI applications, it is pertinent that you follow successful AI use-cases (ROI generating apps rather than just experiments) traction from key players in 2018 and beyond.